2008 Cadillac Escalade Performance

8.0
Performance

Most reviews found the Escalade to be an impressive SUV with good handling and a good sense of the right blend of truck utility and luxury trim.

Edmunds says the result is something more than a vehicle with wheels and TV screens "so large the Amish could stick them in a river to power a grain mill."

The 2008 Cadillac Escalade is one of the best-performing full-size SUVs, in power and handling.

Tremendous acceleration pumps out of the Escalade's hulking 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8. Automobile loves the sound of the Escalade's powertrain, the burbles and woofles it emits at idle. The strong 0-60 mph times of about 6.5 seconds have a penalty: fuel economy of 12 mpg city, according to the EPA.

The 6-speed automatic that puts power to the wheels can be reluctant to downshift, Kelley Blue Book says, but that can be overcome by using the steering-column-mounted manual shift mode.

Both rear- and all-wheel-drive Escalades are available. Car and Driver reports that the 2008 Cadillac Escalade tows "only 7,800 pounds"-only, they explain, because the related Chevy Suburban can tow 8,000-pounds-plus.

Remind yourself that the Escalade is a truck-based SUV and its handling comes off as very good. Motor Trend says the ride is on the firm side, but compliant enough despite huge 22-inch wheels and low-profile tires. Automobile reports more steering feel comes through a revised setup, but thinks the brakes are merely adequate, and observes the pedal is too touchy for such a large vehicle.

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